With anticipation growing and only two days left until their encounter, heavyweights Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder held the final press conference on Thursday in support of their Saturday bout in Las Vegas. The fight will be broadcast by Showtime (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT). Click here for a full preview of the fight.
Wilder will be looking to become the first American-born world heavyweight champion since Shannon Briggs, and the Alabama native did not hold back at the mic.
“If you only knew the whooping I’m going to put on this boy,” Wilder said. “You all want the first American champ, but this is for me. I am not scared to walk with my head held high because I am ready for any test.”
Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) enters the ring a slight favorite to win and brings an unblemished record, with a 100% knockout ratio. But critics of The Bronze Bomber point out this record has been earned fighting low-level opposition. This is his time to prove them wrong.
“Many people wrote me off early in my career,” Wilder said. “People say I’m not supposed to be here. People still write me off and I thank them for that. Because when they write me off I still go to another level and push forward.”
Wilder’s previous fight, versus a subpar Jason Gavern, was his longest-lasting bout, making it only to the end of the fourth round before Gavern quit on the stool.
Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) comes to Saturday’s bout having stopped Chris Arreola in the sixth-round of their May 2014 rematch for the vacant WBC heavyweight title.
The Haitian-born Stiverne had defeated Arreola in their previous encounter April 2013 by a unanimous decision in an action-packed 12-rounder.
“It’s going to be a real fight, a fight like you’ve never seen before.” Stivern said. “I’m no cab driver, I’m no one-hit wonder, this is the real deal. This belt here isn’t going anywhere.”
Also on the card and present at the press conference: Undefeated super-bantamweight Leo Santa Cruz defends his WBC title against Jesus Ruiz, and Amir Imam takes on Fidel Maldonado.